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PR Fail: Meet the New Face of Terrorism, KFC's Col. Sanders
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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GAZA. This is a name that has become ubiquitous with terse global relations, terrorism, hating on Israel and all-around ne'er-do-wells. However, thanks to this kooky story from the Christian Science Monitor (ironic, right?), we discover the people of Gaza are just as normal as the rest of us. Why? Because even these guys get a hankering for some finger-licking goodness. 

Thanks to a pioneering Palestinian company al-Yamama (Arabic for 'pigeon'...as in 'delivery'...get it?), and for an American marked-WAY-up price of $30, Gaza residents are now able to have Colonel Harlan Sanders' secret recipe smuggled delivery-style via underground tunnels from Egypt. Granted, it takes around four hours for a bucket of chicken to get there, but don't worry about that right now. Why smuggling? To bypass the Israeli blockade, of course.

These tunnels are connected to get Gazans aid, medicine, cars...and weapons...from Egypt. Well, all that work makes Hous bin Pharteen a hungry boy. (P.S. Read his name out loud for a giggle. You're welcome.) 

"It has been a dream, and this company has made my dream come true," says Mr. Rafel Shororo, an accountant, as he receives his order from the delivery guy. "All you need to have any KFC product is a short phone call and a few hours, they you can enjoy the great taste of fried chickens." 

Ah yes. A short phone call and a few hours. They don't call it fast food for nothing, folks. And for those of my Muslim peeps, not to worry. KFC Arabia assures all of its Islamic customers bringing in illegal greatness through the tunnels from Egypt that all of its meats are prepared to Halal standards (food that complies with Islamic law or Shariah). With all this international hullabaloo, you would think this publicity would be great for the Pepsico brand, and PETA's BFF; however, the company must deny all interview requests or give the fabled 'No Comment.' Something about that whole 'smuggling empire' may have something to do with it. 

By the sounds of it, these Gazans wouldn't care if they did eat the bones. Waiting three hours for a bucket of Colonel's Crispy, lukewarm apple pie and some damp, limp fries? That's brand loyalty. And apparently, shoppers can find al-Yamama on Facebook, but given Patriot's Law and all that Homeland Security stuff, I don't feel like looking for that right now from a work or home computer. Suffice to say, the site is popular. Think about it: the aforementioned Israeli blockade has been into effect since 2007, when Hamas took control of the Gaza border...and we are just now hearing about this fun little enterprise? You know what? I have an idea. Homeland Security - and even you too, White House - gather 'round: 

Being the surreptitious marketing ninja that I am, how's this? Call up al-Yamama with a brilliant marketing ploy — call it Gaza Strips. They are delish, crispy, boneless and full of the Colonel's secret recipe, only since now that it's plausible that Hamas major domos are smuggling these, add a little sumthin'-sumthin' to the recipe. Say, Arsenic, Anthrax or good ol' fashioned rat poison? Within about six weeks of explosive bouts of runs to the bathroom, I'm certain terrorism will simmer down considerably. Problem solved. And you're welcome. 

Maybe this wasn't such a PR fail, after all. Suck on that, bin Laden.

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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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